The Regional Court in Mankweng outside Polokwane has handed down a hefty sentence of thirty years imprisonment to three livestock thieves on Monday, 29 May 2023.
The court has found Ishmael Manamela (40), Abel Maboa (58) and David Semono (63) guilty of theft of livestock and possession of suspected stolen cattle following a lengthy period of trial.
Each convict has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment without option of paying a fine for the judgement.
The court heard that the trio had stolen ten cattle at Mmakata village in Ga Molepo while at a grazing field on Monday 11 February 2019. The evidence presented before the Regional Court of Mankweng has proven that the three men were cornered by the police along Roodeport road in Westenburg policing area on Tuesday 12 February 2019, on the way heading to an auction in Mokopane while transporting the stolen cattle in a van with a trailer.
The accused fled the scene on foot and left behind the exhibit.
Through intensive investigations, it was found that the cattle were stolen from Mankweng policing area and a case of theft of livestock was already opened and the lawful owner was located and the cattle were positively identified through a unique brand mark.
These accused were arrested on three different occasions first in 2019 July, second 2020 February and the third in 2021 January through intelligence driven operations conducted and three accused were later granted R2000 bail each.
Both cases of theft of livestock and possession of suspected stolen livestock were successfully investigated by Detective Sergeant Botha Motsai of Polokwane Stock Theft Unit.
The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has applauded the members for the sterling work done and selflessness attitude towards putting the efforts on the lengthy investigations that yielded a successful trial with conviction and sentencing.